Well that came up quickly. It’s October. Has it already been a year since we wondered how much longer the pandemic would last, who would win the U.S. presidential election, and perhaps more importantly, would the final Daniel Craig James Bond film ever be released?
Yet here we are with three months to go in 2021, and it’s time to set aside our worries and enjoy a feast for the spirit — as well as the eyes — as we listen to the words of inspired speakers and judge them mercilessly on their fashion choices. Enter the Tie Tracker.
OK, that might be a stretch, but we have a great time every General Conference keeping tabs on the nature of ties. Having done this for about 10 years, perhaps we should look back on our data, run some sweet pivot tables, and look for any actual trends. You know, real analysis!
If you’re new to the Tie Tracker, it’s pretty straightforward. We maintain a database covering the intersection of tie patterns and colors. Whole numbers are not required (i.e. a tie could be 40% silver, 40% black and 20% blue, and 5% white.
We don’t know how many female speakers we’ll have this go-around, but we track their sartorial triumphs, as well. We’ll focus on the combination of blouse/blazer and any necklace. It can be a bit trickier for sisters, given the open canvas available to them, so our approach isn’t perfect, but this usually covers most bases.
Is this exercise silly? Absolutely. But it’s become more popular in recent years. Major Latter-day Saint media outlets have covered it, and plenty of blogs have produced little charts you can give to your kids to let them draw in the ties of the speakers. (We recommend these blogs also make similar sheets for the female leadership.)
Besides, we are the ones that broke the hard-hitting news that the late Elder Robert D. Hales wore the same tie every single conference. Who knows what major revelations will come out way this time?
Bookmark this page, as we’ll update it at the end of every session. We’d also love it if you follow #TieTracker on Twitter and offer your thoughts on some of the ties that are more difficult to pin down. Is it blue? Is it gold?
Sunday Afternoon Session
We made it! The big standouts in this session were Bishop L. Todd Budge’s green tie and the bright pink one from Elder Anthony Perkins. Then Elder Dunn swept in to get green at least more than an honorable mention. Nice to get some color variation.
Red made it interesting for the color competition even though blue won in the end. It was tighter than in recent conferences.
Shout out to gold, silver, and green, which showed up more than we expected. Purple wildly underperformed.
And President Nelson gave us the lone solid-colored tie – a blue one – right at the end!
As for style – patterns crushed it. There were a number of ties that were borderline dotted, but because they had designs around the dots, we considered them patterned, instead. This one wasn’t even close.
Thanks for playing along! Vivan los ties!
Sunday Morning Session
Slow clap for Elder Sikahema. This man, as many with many professional athletes, knows fashion!
Overall, not a super notable session as far as fashion goes, but President Johnson of the Primary not only gave an outstanding talk, but wore a very classy dress. Anything we can to do move away from the forces of a blazer recklessly paired with a blouse and skirt is great.
Patterns are definitely way out ahead, and it would take a nearly unanimous effort from stripes to somehow win the day. This Week in Mormons is projecting a winner in the design race: Patterns! Politicians will kill for these kind of margins!
Colors are a bit more interesting. Blue is, not surprisingly, in the lead, but silver and gold have made a great showing so far. Very impressive.
Saturday Evening Session
The first Saturday evening general session in… we don’t exactly know how long, but we’ll round to at least 40ish years – was great! Powerful testimonies all around. And the fashion was much more fun!
Sister Sharon Eubank wore a floral blouse that was hard to pin down on our simple chart, so apologies. She does good things.
President M. Russell Ballard busted out some sort of silver paisley tie that was truly a bold move. Well played, sir.
And some love goes to Elder Alfred Kyungu, who gave us our first nearly solid color, textured tie in years.
On the color front, gold is doing surprisingly well, and it’s made appearances in every session. This appears largely to be at the expense of purple, which typically makes a decent showing and play spoiler to either red or blue, but hasn’t done so yet. This is like the American League Wild Card race at this point.
Patterns, on the other hand have run away with the division. We’ll see if other designs even make a showing of it or if they just phone it in, assuming they’ve been eliminated from contention.
Sorry, can you tell we like baseball in this household? Go Angels!
Saturday Afternoon Session
Elder Schmiel sported a lovely light blue, boldly patterned tie. Good work!
Gold made a number of appearances this session. Some ties were borderline yellow, but we opted for gold due to their shimmery guildedness. That’s a word. Guildedness.
Patterns leapt out way ahead after the afternoon session, and interesting, many of the ties had patterns with a decent amount of spacing between the designs – not tight patterns, but loose ones.
And then there was Elder Christoffel Golden Jr.’s outstanding tie. Glorious. Pure glory!
Saturday Morning Session
This isn’t directly tie related, but we noticed President Eyring was sporting a broader collar shirt. It’s a good look for him. We still remember when Scottish Seventy Elder David S. Baxter wore a borderline flat collared shirt, and it was beautiful.
We started the session strongly with stripes. Indeed, President Nelson’s and Elder Holland’s ties were near antipodes of one another. But then Elder Soares arrived with his lovely orange tie, coupled with a legit plaid suit. Bless him.
Patterns often win every General Conference, and while they are out ahead so far, it is not as commanding a lead as it might become despite the sizable lead. We’ve also seen patterns and stripes exclusively, leaving room for some dots or paisley to play spoiler.
As far as colors, in these early stages we’re seeing the usual battle between red and blue, but don’t be surprised if purple makes a real showing of it. The Ross Perot of conference tie colors!